John Roberts (Justice)
On Friday, ABC's World News Tonight aired a completely one-sided report on the Supreme Court's ruling that legalized same-sex "marriage" in all 50 states. Terry Moran hyped how Justice Anthony Kennedy "wrote today's landmark opinion describing the stakes in this case in the loftiest terms." Moran failed to include any soundbites from social conservative opponents of the decision, and hyped how "Justice Scalia, in a rage, scorning Kennedy's poetic opinion as little more than a 'fortune cookie.'"
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling in favor of President Obama in the ObamaCare subsidy case, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC were out in full force during their Thursday evening newscasts to cheer the “historic ruling” and labeled Chief Justice John Roberts as a “conservative” after having “saved” ObamaCare “from a devastating blow.” CBS anchor Scott Pelley assured viewers in an opening tease that “[m]illions of Americans will keep their health insurance as the Supreme Court today saves the President's signature law.”
The Supreme Court's opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts in the King v. Burwell case was classic conservative judicial philosophy, argues the Daily Beast's Jay Michaelson.
In the lead-up to the King v. Burwell decision, not a few liberals claimed that most Republicans secretly wanted the Supreme Court to uphold certain Obamacare subsidies because quashing them would have caused major political hassles for the GOP. The SCOTUS ruled Thursday morning, and before noon we had examples of the updated conventional wisdom: Republicans are happy with the decision, which will spare them harm in the 2016 elections.
One post in this vein came from Steve Benen, a producer for MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and the main writer for the TRMS blog. Benen asserted that chief justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, “did the GOP an enormous favor -- had the court created systemic chaos, and scrapped benefits for millions of red-state families, Republicans would have confronted an incredible mess they were woefully unprepared to clean up. Worse, there’s a big election coming up, and the GOP was poised to be on the hook for hurting a lot of people out of nothing but spite.”
Thursday's CNN Newsroom hyped the Supreme Court's decision that again upheld ObamaCare as a "huge win for the President of the United States," as Wolf Blitzer put it. Gloria Borger and John King tied the Court decision to Congress passing the President's fast-track trade legislation earlier in the week. Borger trumpeted, "You have trade legislation being approved – huge win for the President. You have this reaffirmation of ObamaCare...huge for his legacy." King added, "This may well be the best week of his second term."
All three of the network evening newscasts offered coverage on Tuesday of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments regarding the gay marriage that was proclaimed to be a “landmark case” that was certain to produce “a watershed ruling” on “marriage equality.” On ABC’s World News Tonight, anchor David Muir began the show’s coverage by declaring the “landmark case” will answer whether or not “gay couples have the constitutional right to marry in all 50 states” while using ABC News polling data to tout “a sea change” from a decade ago.
Georgetown Law professor Randy Barnett has an excellent piece today at the Volokh Conspiracy blog detailing the lengths to which the liberal media is going to not-too-subtly lobby Chief Justice John Roberts on the upcoming ObamaCare subsidy case King v. Burwell.
New York Times former Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse held a dubious celebration of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. in her nytimes.com column, while attacking the Court’s "steady regression on race and its deregulatory hijacking of the First Amendment" and Justice Clarence Thomas's "full-steam-back-to-the-18th-century" approach to constitutional interpretation.
Today a unanimous Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, ruled that police may not search the contents of an arrested individual's cell phone without first obtaining a warrant. While all three broadcast networks reported on the Riley v. California decision in their June 25 evening newscasts, only CBS's Janet Crawford directly referred to the "Obama administration" as having "argued cell phone searches were like a search of a suspect's wallet, briefcase, or coat, which don't require a warrant."
ABC's Terry Moran skirted around a reference to the Obama administration, saying simply that "the government" made the argument that searching a cell phone was akin to searching a wallet. NBC's Pete Williams likewise failed to describe the Obama administration's involvement in the case, to which it was not a party, but in which it took great interest.
Matea Gold and Robert Barnes utterly failed this morning as ostensibly objective journalists. In their front-page stories covering yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Washington Post staffers front-loaded their stories with melodramatic political language suitable for a left-wing "campaign finance reform" group's press release rather than objective news copy.
"An elite class of wealthy donors who have gained mounting influence in campaigns now has the ability to exert even greater sway," Gold groused in her lead graf. In the column to her right, Barnes, the Post's Supreme Court correspondent began by offering that:
USA Today's Richard Wolf and Fredreka Schouten wasted no time this morning distorting the Supreme Court's April 2 ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, which essentially holds that a provision of federal law setting an aggregate limit on an individual's campaign contributions violates the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech.
Wolf and Schouten, however, practically endorsed the lament of liberal detractors, opening their story with a loaded lead paragraph that had nothing to do with the merits of the case and followed up by weaving a narrative focused on the "bitter national debate" about campaign finance rather than strictly adhering to the constitutional merits of the Court's ruling.
In what may be a new low for MSNBC.com, writer Adam Serwer today all but compared Chief Justice John Roberts to his most infamous predecessor, Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision.
"Shameful link in Voting Rights Act decision," blared the teaser headline in the lightbox at msnbc.com. "Legal scholars argue the decision striking down part of the Voting Rights Act is rooted in the Dred Scott decision, considered the worst in U.S. history," noted the photo caption [see screen capture at bottom of post]